When God Surprises

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
It's good to be back to the blog after a week off.

I had a good reason - our son Beckett Graham was born on May 19th! He and Miranda are both doing great.

You may remember that Beckett was a complete and utter surprise to us. Miranda had to take two at home pregnancy tests before she began to believe it. And she had to take off early from work and drive around for a few hours before she could figure out the words to tell me!

Her doctor said there was about a two percent chance he could have been conceived, based on the precautions we were taking.

Well, we are now holding and waking up in the night with that two percent chance!

God disrupted our plans, our assumptions, even our vision of life. We weren't planning on conceiving ever - much less three months into our marriage!

But God had other ideas. A surprise in store. He does that in all of our lives. Sometimes the surprises are good ones - an unexpected financial windfall, a new job, a relational breakthrough, a child conceived when you had given up!

Sometimes the surprise feels like a bad one - a loss of income or a job, the death of a dream, the discovery of a painful secret, a relationship you had counted on irretrievably broken.

But none of those things are surprises to God. Good or bad, he surprises us for a lot of reasons, more than I can list here:

-Just because he loves us.
-Because he wants to take us to new levels of knowing him.
-Because he wants to take us to new levels of trusting him.
-Because he wants to take us to new levels of depending on him.
-Because he wants to disrupt a pattern of sin or complacency in our lives.

Sometimes there is not obvious or even non-obvious reason.

It's all in how we respond to the surprise:

-I can receive it and accept it and trust God with it; or I can fight against it, deny it and turn away from God.
-I can remind myself that I am totally dependent on God; or I can fight my way through depending on my own resources.
-I can dive in to trusting and loving God more deeply, even in the dark; or I can become embittered at God, others, the universe.

In each of those cases, the first approach leads to wholeness and strength. The second approach leads to disconnection from God and weakness.

It's no surprise that the first approach is better!

What are the surprises you are facing in your life right now?

How are you responding?

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